I went to our Friday study of the documents of Vatican II this past Friday and my priest said that all of these devotions out there to Mary and the saints are silly and they can turn us from Jesus and cause us to worship them. He further explained that after Vatican II alot of statues and other things were taken out of the churches and the churches were built more modern so that the altar is the main focal point. I felt crushed by these things he said and the more I thought about it, our parish doesn’t have rosary groups, no devotions to Mary, alot of people don’t wear scapulars or even a Miraculous Medal. The only hint at our chruch that we are remotely Catholic is a statue of Our Lady Of Guadalupe that was erected by our Hispanic congregation. I was also talking to some ladies at the church to see what it would take to get a statue of St. Joseph, the thoroughly disagreed with the idea saying all the people at the church like the way things are and the O.L. of Guadalupe was a big exception since it was left to the church by a well to do widow in the Hispanic community. What are your thoughts on this?
Don’t be crushed as the Spirit moves in mysterious ways. Nothing the Priest said is untrue and Mary herself has made it clear the Eucharist and therefore the Alter should be the centre of our attention in Church. The fact that he sais it possibly the way he did could easily have been the work of the Spirit in order that you felt the way you did and learned about no prayer groups.
Odd you should notice no Rosary group yet a statue of Mary in the church. It doesn’t take a genius to put 2 and 2 together. If you feel so strong start a rosary group and become a real prayer warrior. If you follow the threads you will see I am no blind follower of every person that claims a mystical experience and always try to keep to Church approved but you will also see that I have great faith in the Rosary and believe Mary the Mother of God is deserving of proper devotion. Pray further on the matter ( Rosary is great ) and ask for help and guidance on getting things started. If you meet objection from the priest from having it in church then pray further for help in changing his mind ( maybe have a home prayer group ). It may mean to start the group is a group of 1 so what have faith in the Rosary and the power it has when said in a proper heart.
As far as statues go I have no religious need for them myself but conceed that other may find them usefull in centering their mind.
So don’t be down hearted get up and GO GO GO keep me posted how you get on
Being a Catholic prior to V2, I am saddened by some of the traditions that are falling by the wayside. I was so pleased to see that my parish is observing Passiontide this year with the covering of the statues and crucifixes with purple cloths. This used to be the custom prior to about the 70’s. It is sad that some churches do not have statues of saints and the BVM as reminders of people who should be emulated. I cannot believe that your priest would refer to these symbols in such a way.
While I think that his choice of the term “silly” is very unfortunate, he has a good point in regards to some - I repeat some - people can go overboard in the area of Marion or other saintly devotion and this is a dangerous thing.
I think that Church, espeically since the pontificate of JP II and the promulgation of the new Catechism, have done much to clarify teaching and help people to regain a proper form and respect for the intercession of the saints, including our blessed mother.
He further explained that after Vatican II alot of statues and other things were taken out of the churches and the churches were built more modern so that the altar is the main focal point.
Well - I’m not sure what he thinks the main focal point was before Vatican II, if it wasn’t the Altar…Afterall, most Churches were built in the same way, you could walk in and see immediately front and center the main high altar with the Tabernacle in the center. statues etc were always off to the sides.
I have more concern with our modern churches. Now the emphasis is so much on the Altar, that the tabernacle is being pushed out of the main part of the Church altogether…
A trend I’d like to see reversed soon.
I felt crushed by these things he said and the more I thought about it, our parish doesn’t have rosary groups, no devotions to Mary, alot of people don’t wear scapulars or even a Miraculous Medal. The only hint at our chruch that we are remotely Catholic is a statue of Our Lady Of Guadalupe that was erected by our Hispanic congregation. I was also talking to some ladies at the church to see what it would take to get a statue of St. Joseph, the thoroughly disagreed with the idea saying all the people at the church like the way things are and the O.L. of Guadalupe was a big exception since it was left to the church by a well to do widow in the Hispanic community. What are your thoughts on this?
The things you mention are private devotions. As such the faithful are neither more or less “Catholic” for using them. If you feel that the Holy Spirit is moving you toward greater Marion devotion, then take steps to encourage it. Tell your pastor that you are interested in starting a rosary group and may you place a notice in the bulletin.
As to people wearing Scapulars, it might be hard to tell who does and who does not. I wear a “4 way” every day, but few probaly know it because I wear it under my shirt.
The Church is incredibly rich in her heritage and traditions and they are all good, so long as they are properly focused around and pointing toward Christ.
Thanks everyone, I feel a lot better, I see where you are coming from. I guess this transition from a California parish to an Oklahoma parish has been a little bit of a culture shock to say the least. I guess what the priest was trying to get across is that the devotions themselves aren’t silly insomuch as the people that take it way overboard. I adore my priest and he definitely is a breath of fresh air. I guess I got a little paranoid thinking he was picking on me a bit, since I am the one asking about traditional things and whatnot lol. I feel much better and I guess if I do truely want more tradition, I can always go to the cathedral here once in a while which is tradition galore
Remember not to give up. You can’t possibly change your church from the outside. You have to stay active inside to do any good.
all of these devotions out there to Mary and the saints are silly and they can turn us from Jesus and cause us to worship them.
‘Brothers, we must follow such examples. For it is written: Follow the saints, because those who follow them will become saints.’
Pope St. Clement I of Rome
‘When we enter ornate and clean Basilicas, adorned with crosses, sacred images, altars and burning lamps, we most easily conceive devotion. But on the other hand, when we enter the temples of the heretics, where there is nothing except a chair for preaching and a table for making a meal, we feel ourselves to be entering a profane hall and not the House of God.’
St. Robert Bellarmine
‘Although the faithful should be obedient to all priests in general who duly fulfil the duties of religion, how much more must they give adherence to the ruler of that See which the Supreme Godhead wished to preside over all priests and the subsequent piety of the whole Church has always honored? So your prudence will perceive that by no human design of any sort whatever can any one set himself up as equal by privilege or acknowledgement to him whom the Voice of Christ has made supreme, and whom the venerable Church has always recognized and held in honour as her Primate.’
Pope St. Gelasius I
gatewood1988, how old is your priest?
From what I understand from Vatican !! is that these Marian devotions were NEVER BANNED and the statues either! Some Bishops went overboard and decided to ditch the statues etc. I remember the shock of removing our beautiful statues and storing them in the Church’s basement! All was supposedly done so the Eucharist would and should be the center of the Mass!
But Marian devotions such as May crownings, the Rosary etc, were never specifically banned, but the interpretation was wrong.
We do have the Rosary before Mass in our church also, but the Tabernacle is “hid”, and the only thing of Mary is a large picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe also. In May however, there is a statue of Our Lady of Fatima displayed near the altar. I think the first Communicants may crown her.
Next Liturgical year, there will be a specific feast for Our Lady of Fatima, so I think that our Pope is trying to get back to the Marian devotions, but it will be awhile before the rest of the Church catches on.
Pray for your Pastor. Many were educated in seminaries that “threw out” some of these things, and perhaps he is afraid of reviving them, but the Rosary should at least be said before or after Mass. You might want to begin that. Naturally though, it is not appropriate to say this during Mass.
As a 52 year old revert, it’s the opposite way around for me.
I’m reconnecting with Mary through Jesus through the Scriptures (I grew up without an appreciation for the BVM).
I’d suggest starting a Scriptural Rosary group.
You might contact the RCIA groups and see if they would like to participate. Our RCIA group contains new Christians, Converts from other faiths, and Catholics who are continuing to receive the Sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation.
gatewood1988, you are fortunate to have a FSSP parish in Tulsa. I believe you will find everything you are looking for at The Parish of St Peter.
I heartily second this recommendation.
The saints are the examples we must follow and love.
gatewood1988, I’m saddened to hear what you’re going through at your parish. I can’t imagine my life w/o our Blessed Mother. I would be very upset if my parish priest had said things like yours did. I think it’s hogwash how someone said “some go overboard w/ the Marian devotion.” How could that be?
Prayers for you & your parish priest. :gopray:
He is 56. See he came to this parish from what I understand, about 5 years ago and didn’t decide to change many things about it because most of our members are comfortable where they are. I remember when we went to a seminar on the 3rd edition of the Missal, our music group flipped out that our Bishop asked us all to do at least one thing in Latin during the Mass. I remember one night I said something about the Bishop (a nice thing) being traditional with alot of the Latin and ad orientem during mass; this one guy practically jumped down my throat about it saying we are not a traditional parish, we’re unique. It kind of took me off guard. I do not want to leave my parish mainly because my husband is in RCIA this year, I am an RE teacher, and I am an EMHC. I do love the friends I have made and I adore my priest. I just know though that I cannot leave my kids in my RE class. I still feel like God planted me there for a reason.
Many churches in the 1970s streamlined their decors by removing statues of saints. Every church that I have attended continues to have a statue of the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph gracing the altar from the side so that the altar itself does become the focus.
The overabundance of statues in some older churches can indeed be distracting from the focus of our worship.
You mentioned that you just began your study of the Vatican documents. Continue with your studies and uncover what is truly in the documents versus some of the misinterpretations that have followed.
I am not a huge proponent of praying to the saints. I do however pray the rosary and understand the power of intercessory prayer. My current parish has novenas every Wednesday to Our Lady of Perpetual Succor and every Tuesday to St. Anthony. It also has other Novenas throughout the year.
Contrary to the position of some Catholics who personally struggle with a proper devotion to the Mother of God, (sadly some priests included) Vatican II promulgated some of the most beautiful Church Teachings on the role of the Virgin Mary, particularly in the Document Lumen Gentium:
***"Mary’s function as mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power…
No creature could ever be counted along with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer; but just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by his ministers and the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is radiated in different ways among his creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source.
The Church does not hesitate to profess this subordinate role of Mary, which it constantly experiences and recommends to the heartfelt attention of the faithful, so that encouraged by this maternal help they may the more closely adhere to the Mediator and Redeemer."*** Vatican II
Found Here: Mary’s Role in the Church
PS.: One of the greatest contributors to the Documents of Vatican II, Cardinal Karol Wotijla, became on the greatest Marian Popes of all time.
He was never lacking enough images of the Blessed Virgin Mother around his Church!
To Jesus through Mary
Since I am the one who posted the, so called, hogwash, allow me to illustrate.
I have seen people right here on CAF who go overboard in their Mrion Devotion. I actually had one gentleman become Irate with me about praying directly to Jesus or to the Father. He insisted that we must go through the Blessed Virgin.
This guy was dead serious that I was wrong and even blasphemous to think that I could take my petitions, my prayers directly to the throne (even though Jesus Himself tells us to). No amount of reasoning would shake his erronious idea…
So if that is not going overboard, I don’t know what is…
Thankfully this is not a common notion - at least not to the degree this gentleman had taken it. Yet this one illustration demonstrates how error can creep in when proper understanding and catechesis are missing.
This Blessed Priest and Pope prayed the Rosary and invoked the intercession of Jesus’ Mother while praying to God. And what an example he was!
**To Jesus through Mary **
Are you kidding? I had one on these very boards who implied I sold my soul to the devil because I didn’t like the way they were overemphasizing the Rosary and how I personally didn’t take it seriously. :rolleyes:
+Gatewood . . . below are quotes from the Catechism relating to this subject . . . very sadly . . . your priest appears to be openly dissenting with Church doctrine as presented by our Holy Mother Church’s . . . Magesterium . . . Sacred Tradition . . . and . . . Sacred :bible1: Scripture.
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THE SACRAMENTAL CELEBRATION
OF THE PASCHAL MYSTERY
The sacred image, the liturgical icon, principally represents Christ. It cannot represent the invisible and incomprehensible God, but the incarnation of the Son of God has ushered in a new “economy” of images:
Previously God, who has neither a body nor a face, absolutely could not be represented by an image. But now that he has made himself visible in the flesh and has lived with men, I can make an image of what I have seen of God . . . and contemplate the glory of the Lord, his face unveiled.27
Christian iconography expresses in images the same Gospel message that Scripture communicates by words. Image and word illuminate each other:
[INDENT]We declare that we preserve intact all the written and unwritten traditions of the Church which have been entrusted to us. One of these traditions consists in the production of representational artwork, which accords with the history of the preaching of the Gospel. For it confirms that the incarnation of the Word of God was real and not imaginary, and to our benefit as well, for realities that illustrate each other undoubtedly reflect each other’s meaning.28
All the signs in the liturgical celebrations are related to Christ: as are sacred images of the holy Mother of God and of the saints as well. They truly signify Christ, who is glorified in them. They make manifest the "cloud of witnesses"29 who continue to participate in the salvation of the world and to whom we are united, above all in sacramental celebrations. Through their icons, it is man “in the image of God,” finally transfigured "into his likeness,"30 who is revealed to our faith. So too are the angels, who also are recapitulated in Christ:
**Following the divinely inspired teaching of our holy Fathers and the tradition of the Catholic Church (for we know that this tradition comes from the **Holy Spirit ****who dwells in her) we rightly define with full certainty and correctness that, like the figure of the precious and life-giving cross, venerable and holy images of our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ, our inviolate Lady, the holy Mother of God, and the venerated angels, all the saints and the just, whether painted or made of mosaic or another suitable material, are to be exhibited in the holy churches of God, on sacred vessels and vestments, walls and panels, in houses and on streets.31
"The beauty of the images moves me to contemplation, as a meadow delights the eyes and subtly infuses the soul with the glory of God."32 Similarly, the contemplation of sacred icons, united with meditation on the Word :bible1: of God and the singing of liturgical hymns, enters into the harmony of the signs of celebration so that the mystery celebrated is imprinted in the heart’s memory and is then expressed in the new life of the faithful.[/INDENT]
Sacred images in our churches and homes are intended to awaken and nourish our faith in the mystery of Christ. Through the icon of Christ and his works of salvation, it is he whom we adore. Through sacred images of the holy Mother of God, of the angels and of the saints, we venerate the persons represented.
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“YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR GOD
WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITHALL YOUR
SOUL, AND WITHALL YOUR MIND”
IV. "You Shall Not Make for Yourself a Graven Image . . ."
Nevertheless, already in the Old :bible1: Testament, God ordained or permitted the making of images that pointed symbolically toward salvation by the incarnate Word: so it was with the bronze serpent, the ark of the covenant, and the cherubim.69
Basing itself on the mystery of the incarnate Word, the seventh ecumenical council at Nicaea (787) justified against the iconoclasts the veneration of icons—of Christ, but also of the Mother of God, the angels, and all the saints. By becoming incarnate, the Son of God introduced a new “economy” of images.
The Christian veneration of images is NOT contrary to the first commandment which proscribes idols. Indeed, “the honor rendered to an image passes to its prototype,” and "whoever venerates an image venerates the person portrayed in it."70 The honor paid to sacred images is a “respectful veneration,” not the adoration due to God alone:
[INDENT]Religious worship is NOT directed to images in themselves, considered as mere things, but under their distinctive aspect as images leading us on to God incarnate. The movement toward the image does not terminate in it as
The veneration of sacred images is based on the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word of God. It is NOT contrary to the first commandment.[/INDENT][/INDENT][/INDENT][RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+
. . . thank You Sweet Spirit of our Holy God+
. . . thank you Holy Mother Church+[/RIGHT]